Ask Away April From 100 Pound Count Down!

Phew.. this week flew by! It is time once again for Ask Away Friday! Two bloggers swap 10 questions and answer them on their own blog. Then we link up and visit each other! It is a great way to get to know someone and you just might find a new blog you love !



This week I had the pleasure of swapping with April from 100 Pound Countdown. April is a wife and mother who is on a weight loss journey. She blogs about her faith, her family, and exercise! I loved April’s answers to my questions, so make sure you head to her space to read them! 

Ask Away April

1. Since I moved to Florida, I’ve made a conscious effort to send mail, cards and pictures to family and friends,  especially in California. How often do you send snail mail and what do you normally send?

I adore sending and receiving snail mail. I try to send three to four pieces a week. I am a part of a snail mail group through one of my blog communities and I adore getting mail from my Five Minute Friday gals. Most of the mail I send is to my friends.

I got this package recently from a friend, and it made my day!

I have been wanting to start a monthly snail mail newsletter for quite some time, but I haven’t really had the chance to make it a priority yet. A good deal of our family isn’t on social media and I often forget that they like to see pictures of the kids too!

2. You went to a mini-blog conference a few weeks back, what was the most impactful piece of information?  Not particularly the most useful, but the piece that actually got you to change something about the way you blog?

I went to a mini SITS Girls event hosted by Invisalign in Boston. Tiffany Romero was there (one of the founders of SITS) and she is 100% unashamed of her end game. She came right out and said that she’s working hard now because she wants to retire in Tahiti in 2020. She is focused and driven by her goals. She has inspired me to work harder on mine.

In terms of a small and tangible change, she stated that often when she looks at blogs for campaigns, she only gives them five seconds or less to load. If it doesn’t load within that time, she moves on. When I got back home, I checked mine and it was slow to load. I deleted a bunch of unused plug ins, and not it loads much faster.

3. I noticed that you also have a preschool in love with Frozen. After only watching it twice (from Redbox), my daughter talked about it non stop for two months! I finally broke down and bought it. I enjoy listening to her try to sing the song. What’s your favorite part of Malone’s attraction to the movie?

My favorite part of Malone’s love of Frozen is his obsession with the soundtrack. I love hearing him sing along!

4. What do you hope to get out of blogging in the next 5 years?

I am really looking forward to the next five years. I’ve got a five year plan that is planned in pencil. One of the things that I’m looking forward to is continuing to connect with my readers through posts that make them ponder, encourage them to chase a sweet life well lived, or laugh.

It costs money (outside of my time) to run A Cookie Before Dinner, so one thing you’ll see in the next year is carefully chosen ads and sponsored posts. I am moving towards becoming a boutique blog. I value my reader’s eyes and am honored that they come to this space when there is no less than one jillion other blogs they could be reading, so I’ll be extremely picky with both.

5. After having my first, I’ve parented my daughter differently than my son. What’s the biggest difference in your parenting between Malone and Lola?

Malone was a hard baby. I don’t know if it was my adjustment to motherhood or his temperament, but it was HARD. He cried a lot and my expectations of motherhood didn’t meet my realities. Because of that, I stretched and grew and it was very painful.

But because Malone challenged almost every ideal I had about motherhood, I’ve become the mother I’ve always dreamed of being. I’m relaxed in my role of primary caregiver. I love the challenge of balancing the needs of an infant with that of a five year old.

Lola’s cries don’t bother me the way they did with Malone. As long as I know she’s fed, safe, and doesn’t have a dirty diaper, I often let her just work it out. With Malone, I would have rushed right to him and tried to make it better.

6. Children tend to be mirror into their parents personality and habits. I never realized how often I said “Seriously?” until my son started parroting it back to me at every turn. Is there anything that Malone does that makes you want to break your habit?

The biggest habit I’m working on right now is getting exercise and eating well. Both of these things are hard for me- I tend to eat my feelings. I’m working on forming better views around food and exercise because I want my kids to grow up to be adults who are active and healthy.

7. I saw you met your husband online. I did too, even earlier than you. I’m not even sure existed yet. What was the first thing that attracted you to your husband’s profile?

He has big beautiful brown eyes. Lola has the same ones. They are amazing.

8. Now that you’ve been married for some time, what’s one thing that attracts to him now?

We have been together for over a decade and the amount of history shared between us is mind blowing. We will be knee deep in child drama and he’ll bring up an inside joke. He always knows how to lighten the mood!

9. With college costs rising at an astronomical rate, I’m no longer a huge advocate of college. Do you want your children to go to college, or would you be okay with them skipping it?

I would love for my children to reach and achieve their dreams, whatever they are. I don’t believe college is for every kid. There are many paths to success and they don’t all involve a four year degree. Some dreams involve photography school, culinary school, or going to school to learn a trade. Our society needs electricians, mechanics, and plumbers as much as it needs lawyers, doctors, and teachers.

10. Describe your dream home. Please include location, size and bonus for pictures!

My dream home is wherever my family is. We rent and while I’m not 100% satisfied with the layout of our space, I am working really hard to find contentment with what we do have. Some day, I’d love to have a house of our own with a big yard for the kids to run around in and with space to garden.

But beyond that, I’m trying not to dream. I want to be open to the possibilities. I know that when we are ready to buy, our dream house will be there waiting for us! 


  1. 1

    Echo says

    Great Questions and answers! I have a 2 yr old that sings and acts out scenes from frozen on a daily basis! I would love to attend a blogging conference. I just have to work hard to make stuff happen! Lots of champagne dreams on a beer budget.
    Echo recently posted..Ask Away Friday!My Profile

  2. 2

    lisa @ The golden spoons says

    You know that I love that you have such clearly defined goals for your blog. I’mstill working on mine. Snail mail is a dying tradition. I love that you still do it regularly. I love to get mail and so do my kids!
    lisa @ The golden spoons recently posted..Ask Away Ramblings!My Profile

  3. 3

    Jhanis says

    it looks like Frozen has really taken the world by storm. My daughter is still in love with Anna and Elsa. Some days she’s Elsa and some days she’s Anna. LOL
    We’re still renting too so we can’t really customize it much to our liking and I hope we get to own a house of our own. Doesn’t have to be big but I would love it if we can have a back yard for barbecue. My husband loves to grill!
    Happy Friday NJ!
    Jhanis recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Reality BitesMy Profile

  4. 4

    Tiffany says

    Awesome exchange NJ and April! I love how focused you are and that you have a plan for where you want to be. I think that is always key in trying to accomplish anything. You have to know where your are going to plan the best route to get there. Have an amazing weekend!
    Tiffany recently posted..My First Blogger Event ~ I Got To Shop!My Profile

  5. 5

    lisacng @ says

    Great getting to know more about you. I’m like you, I’m having a much more relaxed and enjoyable time raising my 2nd child (also a daughter, first was a son). And I’m also renting, dreaming about a home, but also content that I have a house to live in and my family with me.
    lisacng @ recently posted..Letter to my future self: read this when they’re teenagersMy Profile

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    Sonya says

    I want to attend a SITS conference hopefully next year. It sounds like you got some great advice. I need to check my blog and delete some plugins.
    Sonya recently posted..Crocs 25% Off + Free ShippingMy Profile

  7. 7

    Rea says

    Love the fact that you’re sending snail mails! :) I think it’s refreshing to send and receive those because of too much exposure to technology that we have right now.

  8. 8

    Nancy says

    Amen to number 9!! Vocational education needs to be taken more seriously and be more respected in this country.
    Nancy recently posted..A Blessing and A Curse, No. 1My Profile

  9. 9

    Beth at Structure in an Unstructured Life says

    Loved your answer about your parenting being different with your second. I feel the same way – after working through those learning curves and growing pains with my first, it seems like I can be more of the parent I want to be with my second.
    I’ve been working on being healthier, too. I’ve started running with my older son. And I’ve declared this to be the summer of cutting back on all the sugar we consume – much to my kids’ dismay!! ;)
    Beth at Structure in an Unstructured Life recently posted..Teens, Travel, and Twitter with TiaMy Profile

  10. 10

    Uplifting Families says

    My youngest is a frozen fan too and I love listening to him belt out tunes from the movie. He will also pretend to open the gates using our double doors in our bedroom or he will pretend he is Elsa or Annna. Very cute.
    Uplifting Families recently posted..#ASKAWAYFriday with Sonya From Saving Everyday With Sonya KMy Profile

  11. 11

    Stacey Gannett says

    I have sent snail mail since the last nail polish swap a few months ago. What a great way to keep in touch. My daughter still hasn’t seen Frozen, yet and she is dying too! There is nothing better than hearing them sing, mine are older though and at that self conscience stage about singing in front of me. LOL! I have definitely mellowed in my parenting with each of my three, especially as they have gotten older. I am also not overly concerned about college, as long as they are happy. Hope you have a great week, NJ!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted..Turn It Up Tuesdays 39!My Profile

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